OCT4 (Octamer-Binding Transcription Factor 4)
OCT4 is a member of the class 5 POU (Pit-Oct-Unc) family of homeodomain transcription factors. It is so named because of its specific binding to the canonical octamer motif (with consensus sequence ATGCA/TAAT) at target gene promoter or enhancer regions. OCT4 was originally discovered in mouse embryonal carcinoma cells (ECCs) (Lenardo et al. 1989), embryonic stem cells (ESCs) (Okamoto et al. 1990), and primordial germ cells (PGCs) (Scholer et al. 1989). Early studies focused on its roles in mouse embryogenesis at the preimplantation development stage (Pesce and Scholer 2001; Wu and Scholer 2014). With the success of culturing human ESCs, the mechanisms by which OCT4 cooperates with other key pluripotency factors (such as SOX2, NANOG) in maintaining the self-renewal and pluripotency of ESCs have been unfolded to a large extent (Li and Belmonte 2017). Since the groundbreaking discovery...
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFA0100300) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31601103).
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